Art exhibition ‘Voices of Change’ will host artwork along Totem Loop

The art exhibition “Voices of Change” consists of several exceptional, original pieces of art that will be on display at the Sitka National Historical Park Visitor Center, and, for the first time, along the riverside of the park’s Totem Loop.

Visitors are invited to view this innovative work beginning with the Wednesday evening reception for “Voices of Change” from 6-8 p.m. on March 29 at the Visitor Center, and also to walk the trail during the park’s trail hours of 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. through November, to experience various artists’ interpretation of the 1867 Treaty of Cession, or the transfer of Alaska from Russia to the United States.

The Totem Loop display is a unique opportunity to view this art in the natural environment, paying homage to the original concept of Totem Trail. Visitors are asked to enjoy but not to disturb the displays, which will be on view for eight months. Park staff have taken great care to hang the artwork along the trail in order to provide for maximum enjoyment, minimal harm to the evergreen trees, and placed away from the fort site.

Park staff will be available each day to help visitors interpret the art and discuss the care taken to ensure the display has no impact on our precious natural resources. For more information, contact Angie Richman, Chief of Interpretation, at 747-0132.

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Sitka Museum Walk helps kick off Sesquicentennial Celebration

Sitka is kicking off its sesquicentennial celebration this week, and one of the events is the Sitka Museum Walk from 6-8 p.m. on Friday, March 31.

This event will take people to a variety of locations in town, including Sitka National Historical Park, Sheldon Jackson Museum, Russian Bishop’s House, St. Michael’s Cathedral, Sitka Maritime Heritage Society, and Sitka History Museum. There will be free refreshments and free transportation available. The museum walk is sponsored by the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) and Sitka Tribal Tours.

To learn more about the Sitka Museum Walk, listen to the morning interview from Monday, March 27, on KCAW-Raven Radio featuring Jeff Budd, Jenya Anichenko, and Caitlin Rogers. To learn more about the sesquicentennial celebration, listen to the morning interview from Friday, March 24, on KCAW-Raven Radio with Pat Alexander, Hal Spackman, and Ryan Carpenter. KCAW also aired this story on Monday, March 27.

SAIL Senior Hiking Club sets next hike for the afternoon of Thursday, March 30

The Sitka office of Southeast Alaska Independent Living Inc. (SAIL) has announced its next Senior Hiking Club hike will be from 1-3:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 30 (note time change from usual schedule). Seniors should meet at the Swan Lake Senior Center for transportation to the trailhead, which will be chosen by the group participating that day.

Normally, the group picks the trail on the day of the hike, but occasionally a trail is picked before the event. SAIL makes trekking poles available for hikers to use (trekking poles are great on ice or uneven terrain, and they help seniors keep their balance), and hikers are encouraged to bring ice cleats such as YakTrax during the icy months of winter.

SAIL offers Senior Hiking Club events for those age 60 or older once a month, usually on the second or third Thursday. There is a $5 fee, but nobody will be turned away because of finances. The hikes are open to people of all abilities and fitness levels. To learn more about the Senior Hiking Club, check out our January 2013 post introducing the club.

To learn more about the Senior Hiking Club, senior and adaptive kayaking trips, senior cycling events, and and a variety of other outdoors skills and survival classes, contact SAIL ORCA (Outdoor Recreation and Community Access) program coordinator Steve Hutchinson at 747-6859 or email him at shutchinson@sailinc.org. The calendar includes hiking, orienteering, kayaking, and other events for seniors, youth, and the disabled.

• SAIL events calendar for March 2017

Eighth annual Choose Respect March to take place on Thursday, March 23

Join the Sitka Youth Leadership Committee and Sitkans Against Family Violence (SAFV) and walk in the Eighth Annual Choose Respect March from noon to 12:45 p.m. on Thursday, March 23. There also will be a sign-making event from 6-8 p.m. on Wednesday, March 22, at The Island Institute, on Baranof Street across from Baranof Elementary School.

We’ll start at Totem Square at noon, head down Lincoln Street and gather at the Crescent Harbor Shelter. Let everyone know that you support the movement to stop the epidemic of domestic violence, sexual assault, and child sexual abuse in Alaska. At the rally, you will learn about some of the exciting programs in the community which empower youth to prevent violence before it ever occurs.

“When we started planning, we thought it would be timely to widen the focus from intimate partner violence to all kinds of violence we are witnessing these days,” said Martina Kurzer, SAFV Community Coordinator. “We’ll march for equality and diversity, and against violence and oppression. So immigration, LGBTQIA, poverty, abuse of power, are all issues we can express in this event. Our hope is to offer another opportunity for making a statement. We’ll have some speakers there, including Kathy Hope-Erickson, Phil Burdick, and hopefully, some student council members. The event will be over by 12:45 pm.”

Even though the state no longer provides support for statewide Choose Respect March events, SAFV is keeping the Sitka event going. If you are an employer, please allow your staff members to participate in this community event. Our goal is to be seen, statewide, as a community that cares.

Nearly one out of every two women in Sitka (47 percent) has experienced domestic violence, sexual violence, or both in her lifetime, according to a 2012 survey by the UAA Justice Center.

For questions, please call Martina or Julia at SAFV, 747-3370. We look forward to seeing you there.

SAIL Senior Hiking Club sets next hike for the afternoon of Thursday, March 9

The Sitka office of Southeast Alaska Independent Living Inc. (SAIL) has announced its next Senior Hiking Club hike will be from 1-3:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 9. Seniors should meet at the Swan Lake Senior Center for transportation to the trailhead for Forest and Muskeg Trail.

Normally, the group picks the trail on the day of the hike, but occasionally a trail is picked before the event. SAIL makes trekking poles available for hikers to use (trekking poles are great on ice or uneven terrain, and they help seniors keep their balance), and hikers are encouraged to bring ice cleats such as YakTrax during the icy months of winter.

SAIL offers Senior Hiking Club events for those age 60 or older once a month, usually on the second or third Thursday. There is a $5 fee, but nobody will be turned away because of finances. The hikes are open to people of all abilities and fitness levels. To learn more about the Senior Hiking Club, check out our January 2013 post introducing the club.

To learn more about the Senior Hiking Club, senior and adaptive kayaking trips, senior cycling events, and and a variety of other outdoors skills and survival classes, contact SAIL ORCA (Outdoor Recreation and Community Access) program coordinator Steve Hutchinson at 747-6859 or email him at shutchinson@sailinc.org. The calendar includes hiking, orienteering, kayaking, and other events for seniors, youth, and the disabled.

• SAIL events calendar for March 2017